This paper aims to explore the self-perceived health status of stroke patients, the factors that contribute to the perception and the relevance of the findings to researchers and practitioners. Outcomes were measured at one, three and six months post-stroke for 153 stroke patients and pre-morbid characteristics were gathered from GPs. Health status was measured using the Short Form 36 (SF36). Stroke patients' health status was significantly worse than a general population for four health dimensions (physical functioning, role physical, vitality and social functioning). Regression analyses with the SF36 profile scores as dependent variables revealed one model where associations between independent and dependent variables were relatively strong (physical functioning), the remaining seven models yielded weak associations. Self-perceived health status was not strongly related to impairment, disability or cognitive function. There are implications for researchers and practitioners across a range of professions. Researchers should aim to identify factors that explain stroke patients' perception of their own health and the impact of their perception on rehabilitation. Practitioners should consider the possible effects of low vitality on treatment concordance.
- health status
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